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Injured entitled to workers' compensation in North Carolina

In the workplace, many hazards can threaten an employee's safety in North Carolina. For instance, if an employee experiences a sudden fall while performing a job task, or if repetitive motion -- such as lifting boxes -- causes a work-related injury, then workers' compensation is warranted. However, according to a recent article, some injured and ill employees failed to take advantage of this benefit when they needed it the most and were entitled to it.

According to recent research, the number of workers who filed workers' compensation claims increased in 2010 -- the first time since 1997. Experts say that this happened because employees were afraid to lose their jobs during the early part of the Great Recession. They apparently felt that filing such claims would put their jobs in jeopardy at a time when job security was already volatile, experts said.

However, the economy eventually began to improve during the recession. For this reason, workers became less hesitant to file workers' compensation claims when necessary, possibly sparking the boost in 2010. Overall, though, the frequency at which claims were filed per pay period between 2007 and 2011 actually declined in all industries, especially in manufacturing.

Businesses are legally obligated to purchase insurance that covers workers who suffer injuries or become ill while working in North Carolina. In addition, an employer cannot fire a worker simply for filing a workers' compensation claim. Injured employees are typically entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits, which help to cover their lost wages due to a work-inflicted injury or illness. It is also within their rights to pursue legal assistance in an effort to maximize the insurance benefits that they ultimately receive.

Source:, The Great Recession's Effect on Workers' Comp Claims Frequency: NCCI, No author, Sept. 18, 2013

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